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It’s time for another Photo-Heart Connection! Haven’t done it before? You can learn more about how to find your Photo-Heart Connection here. Kat talks about “making a commitment to connect art with heart” and invites anyone and everyone to add photography or artwork to the monthly connections.
“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” ~ James Herriot
They are a study in contrast. Whereas Sammy is always looking for a good time, Mo is quiet, nervous, and likes to be alone. Sammy likes one or two pats and then no more touching; Mo would be carried around in a Baby Bjorn if he could. When our daughter arrived, life changed for the kitties, but still, they brought us all closer together. Our daughter is attached to them far beyond what we expected. I’m sad to say that while I still regularly take care of them, in general my focus has been elsewhere the past few years.
Mo has been the one that I’m drawn to the most, and he to me. He used to follow me around everywhere, but these days he waits for my daughter to be at school or in bed for the night before he comes to sit with me. We enjoy each other’s company. And so, when I had to take him to the vet early one morning last week and leave him there for the day for a biopsy, I missed him. It felt to me like I had lost a limb or something else important.
I was taken aback by how much that day without him impacted my thoughts. When I picked him up at the end of the day, he was scared and I felt overprotective toward him. In the week since, I’ve appreciated him far more than ever, spending more time with him and making sure he’s ok, talking sweetly to him and giving him extra pets.
He has arthritis and high blood pressure, and giving him medicine for those conditions has been a minor challenge given his skittishness. Unfortunately, that biopsy was inconclusive, so I have to take him for a repeat procedure today, which I feel so terrible about on his account.
Being responsible for a human being’s care is quite labor-intensive and meaningful, full of spiritual lessons and growth opportunities. I don’t think caring for an animal can compare, but the sense of responsibility I feel for a life of quality and peace for these guys is still great. They give their love and affection so willingly. I aspire to do the same and to continue to earn their trust. My friend Harmony writes in a recent blog post on grieving animals that “unlike many humans, animals can offer us unconditional love, and the loss of that love can feel insurmountable.”
I believe that the souls of animals are the same as those of people. I believe that our souls choose when to leave our bodies. When his time comes, I will try to accept it and continue to be grateful for the time I had with him and what he has taught me.
Tell me, what do you believe?